My dog has a new ritual. More accurately, an addition to an old ritual. Before I pour the food into the bowl, it has always been important for him to lick the feeding hand three times. What’s new is that while he’s waiting for the command “Eat!”, all of a sudden he started giving me a paw on his own. At first I thought: “How cute is that!” but then I wondered about the meaning. Today I decided to see what he would do if I practiced his stamina by dragging out the long-awaited finale. The dog was surprised at first, then raised his paw. Seeing no success, he did it again and again. Now his action no longer seemed cute, rather it was an impatiently demanding gesture: “Master, jokes aside, let me eat!” It became clear that the clever dog invented all this with one purpose — to influence his master to get dopamine ASAP. After all, the city dog’s most important values in life are food, walking and play.
Of course, the 26,000 human-dog cohabitation is no trifle. Involuntarily everyone will study the psychology of the other side. But I was struck by the “discovery” that even an animal tries to take control of a vital process. The dog doesn’t go into a stupor or look for excuses for his passivity, but takes the initiative in his paws and puts the experiment on me. If my response accelerates the achievement of his metrics, the innovation is fixed as an updated status quo. Despite his complete dependence on his master and the difference in intelligence (debatable), the dog relentlessly tries to hack me to improve his life. This attitude is reminiscent of the characteristic of real entrepreneurs from investor Paul Graham — relentless resourcefulness. In that sense, my dog is an entrepreneur from nose to tail.
Frankly, I’d like to act the same way whenever circumstances, the system, or someone proves to be stronger than me by an order of magnitude. Without unnecessary pauses, immediately proactively look for a hack, a loophole, a way out. To create a new degree of freedom where there doesn’t seem to be one.
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As a business therapist, I help tech founders quickly solve dilemmas at the intersection of business and personality, and boost company value as a result.